October 28, 2022

Tritium Experts Meet for Annual Scientific Exchange at PNNL

7th Tritium Science Technical Exchange

Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Tritium researchers, radiation materials scientists, and related subject matter experts from across the country convened for the 7th Tritium Science Technical Exchange (TSTE) September 27–29, 2022, at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington. At this meeting, principal investigators presented the results of projects they conducted for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) the previous year. More than 120 participants joined the meeting in person and online over the course of the three-day meeting. Fiscal year (FY) 2022 was the eighth year of the Tritium Science Competitive Solicitation and the seventh year the TSTE was held at PNNL. To date, 10 organizations spanning Department of Energy national laboratories and industry participate in the exchange. In FY 2022, 21 projects were awarded from 67 proposals submitted in response to the call.

Research funded by the competitive solicitations has benefited the Tritium Modernization Program in several ways. New experimental techniques have been developed that are now routinely used for post-irradiation examination of tritium-producing burnable absorber rod (TPBAR) components, such as atom probe tomography and atomic force microscopy. The research projects have also advanced understanding of in-reactor TPBAR performance by elucidating radiation damage mechanisms and microstructural evolution, using machine learning techniques to quantify microstructural features that help inform performance models, and improving understanding of tritium transport and retention.

“The TSTE provides a good forum for researchers to interact with the tritium science and radiation materials science communities to get feedback on their studies, identify beneficial collaborations and future proposal ideas, and also to interact with Tritium Modernization Program stakeholders to ensure their research remains relevant to NNSA mission needs,” said Dave Senor, deputy project manager for Science and Technology, Tritium Technology Program at PNNL

An event during this year’s TSTE celebrated the 25th Anniversary of PNNL’s involvement in the Tritium Modernization Program. Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator, Office of Stockpile Sustainment, NNSA Mike Thompson and Deputy Assistant Deputy Administrator, Office of Production Modernization, NNSA, Audrey Beldio also visited PNNL for this event.

Published: October 28, 2022

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